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How to Pick a Tuner for Your Vehicle

Not every car modifier is a tuner. Finding a tuner is a rather complicated task, as it is a highly specialized process. You might know a person that has years of experience in modifying vehicles, but a tuner is a person that does something else entirely.

A tuner is a person that can do certain changes to your vehicle (car, truck, or SUV) by working closely with the computer part. By this, we can safely say that a tuner is a person that doesn’t modify a car’s appearance, but rather its performances. And this is why tuning is such a specialized job role.

This article will help shed some light on how to recognize a good tuner. This article isn’t a definitive guide, but it can certainly help you in the process. It will simply help you and point you into a good direction on how to spot a professional and an amateur.

But with all that said, tuning is something that is widely done in today’s time. The technology certainly makes that a possibility, and tuners usually come with a good reputation.

So, with all that said, let’s find out how to pick a tuner for your vehicle.

1. Take Your Vehicle to the Mechanic First

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Before you even consider tuning your vehicle, you should take it to a mechanic and run some inspections first. Mechanics are indispensable to our society, as every vehicle requires taking care of once in a while. It is also recommended that you inspect your vehicle before a trip, regardless of when the last inspection was.

So, regardless of if you’re traveling or simply looking to tuning your car, the first step is a stop by the mechanic. This will not only determine if the vehicle is in good condition, but it will also discover any weak links that might interfere later with the process. Since tuning involves pushing your vehicle to the maximum, certain parts are prone to breaking down if not properly inspected.

However, not every car performance modification requires a visit to the mechanic. A new engine, for example, needs tuning when starting it for the first time. In these cases, a professional tuner will know what to do, and the mechanic isn’t necessary.

But, it’s best advised that you talk to your tuner before doing anything, as he is the person that knows the ins and outs of his job.

2. Do Your Homework

It’s safe to say that educating yourself on the subject is the best course of action when picking a tuner to run the process of upgrading the performances of your car.

Education yourself is nothing short of your responsibility, and the World Wide Web offers endless books and guides on how tuning works.

Of course, not everything will be of use, since this isn’t something that you will be making a living off. And of course, we’ve singled out the most important things to know in regards to tuning, which are:

  • How to read a dyno chart
  • What is air to fuel ratios
  • What constitutes a correction factor

These are only but three of the most important things that you should know in regards to the process, according to RaceMe.

3. Be Aware of the Risks

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If you’re a total newbie and want to tune your car, you should be aware of the risks you’re getting involved in.

Since tuning usually is done on the engine, a general rule of thumb is that the process is prone to failing. We mentioned earlier that people in the industry usually have a good reputation, and most of them are solid tuners. However, there is absolutely nothing that can guarantee you that the process will go smoothly, due to the variety of safety factors.

For starters, the problem could be down to the parts you’re getting for the job. These parts might not work accordingly with your engine or vehicle, and there is a very high chance that the process will fail.

If this is the case, then the engine is prone to breaking down, and we all know that an engine isn’t something cheap. As usually tuning involves buying a whole new engine for your vehicle, the risks are very high of you ending up wasting your money.

And like we mentioned, there is more than one risk involved. Other risks could be down to the person tuning and he having no idea what he’s doing.

Because of these risks, and many more, the industry usually agrees that the person doing the performance-boosting isn’t to blame. That is why you will be given a waiver to sign reliving the tuner of any liabilities if a problem occurs.

This is why you, again, need to talk to a professional before handing him the keys to your car.

4. Make Sure They Have a Physical Location

Yet another very important thing to consider is whether or not the tuner in question has a physical location or not. As you can imagine, owning a shop is beneficial for multiple reasons.

First, it means that the person in question does this for a living, meaning that he is somewhat serious and somewhat professional. Secondly, it means that you can contact him and find him. This means that this isn’t some newbie that does it for a fun, but rather professionally. A physical location means that he also has examples of previous gigs, so inquiring about past projects is rather easy.

The benefits are truly many when it comes to this. Furthermore, if he is a professional then he might not have time to pick up your calls. This is an excellent indicator as to the more people choosing to employ him for performance boosting, the more credible the person is. And if he is as busy as he seems, you can simply choose to visit him first hand and discuss matters at hand.

Another excellent way to find a tuner for your vehicle is to ask friends, family, and associates if they know one. If one of them happens to have previously tuned a vehicle and is satisfied, then the person will most definitely mention the tuner to you.


Peter is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience covering topics in politics. He was one of the guys that were here when the foreignpolicyi.org started.

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